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Alt Characters & Interactions
I'm bringing this over from the old forums because the rules about alts and alt interactions still apply.
I feel that it's important to discuss Alts, and what we expect from them. I realize that everyone has different ideas for when alts should be used, and what they should be used for.
What is an Alt?
An Alt is an "alternate" character. If you play the character of "John" and the character of "Mary" they are your alts. People often also discuss your "Main" or "Main character that you play."
What is the point of an Alt?
There are many different aspects of Allegory of Empires, and many different types of characters. One player may want to explore more parts of the game. For example, you may want to play a character that's an upstanding citizen and part of the carpenters guild, who would never do anything illegal, but as a player you may also want to play a different character who lives in the sewers, and is a criminal. Alts let you play both types of characters.
What can an Alt be used for?
Really, an Alt is just a second (or third, fourth etc.) character that you play in the game. They can be used for anything that a normal character can be used for. There are, however, some restrictions on how your alts can interact with each other.
What shouldn't Alts do?
Here's the crux. Alts shouldn't unfairly help out each other. "Unfairly" is a bit of a tricky concept, though. If you were playing a character who got in a fight, and suddenly all of your opponents Alts turned up to help them, with no in-character reason, then that is considered "unfair." To avoid this, we expect alts, as much as possible, not to interact. In normal situations, don't give your alts gifts, help them out, teach them, or anything else. All of those things are part of the game, and since this is a social game, we want you to engage with the other players to get those benefits. It gives more roleplaying to get a lesson from another player's character than just to idle in a room with your character. It gives more roleplaying to barter for a new set of boots with someone else than just to hand the boots to your other character.
Now, because we want to be "fair" - the players who roleplay their lessons with other players, or barter for their boots shouldn't miss out. As such, we have to say that having your alts help each other is considered "unfair" and not allowed. Please don't do it.
What about Alts teaching each other?
Generally, it is considered cheating to allow your alts to teach each other skills. Alts are *capable* of teaching each other using the teaching system, but it is frowned upon. Why do we allow it in the system? Well...there may be roleplaying reasons why alts should teach each other. If one of your alts is teaching a class on sword fighting, and a different player invites your other alt to the class, then there's no roleplaying reason why you shouldn't benefit from the lesson. Both alts are there for legitimate roleplaying reasons, and interacting in a social roleplaying environment.
If your alts are somewhere private teaching each other, that's not very engaging roleplay, and as such, is not allowed. Please don't do it. (not even if there is "nothing else to do", "you're bored", or you're "playing a different game.") Go out! Roleplay with the other characters! Learn your skills from them, and make the skill-learning part of the story of your character!
On the topic of alt-teaching, creating an Alt with specific skills you want, or with items/money you want, and then teaching, or giving away the items is definitely considered cheating. Make Alts to *play* the game, not to *help* out a character (whether yours or someone else's character)
Advice and guidelines
Try to keep your Alts as separate as possible. If one Alt is a guild leader, try not to let your other Alts become guild leaders that may need to make deals with the first one. If one of your Alt is a guard, and another alt gets in trouble with the law, have your guard alt tell the other guards, and try to let a different guard deal with the character.
If you *can't* avoid your alts interacting (e.g. your criminal alt gets caught stealing, and the players bring your guard alt in to arrest the criminal) then try to play fair as much as possible. Do whatever you feel you'd do if it was a player, erring on the side of caution. You could, for example, arrest the criminal, and then ask a different player's guard player to deal with the crime and set the punishment.
As far as having alts in the same room, try to avoid this as much as possible with the exception of major events (ex: royal court). Alts should avoid talking about each other. For example, let's say you play Maria (a stonemason) and John (a jeweler). Joe is asking around for a jeweler in front of Maria. Maria should not direct Joe to John in any capacity.